In Georgia, as in other parts of the country, underserved, rural, minority and low income populations report generally worse health and health outcomes than others.
In 2010, following a restructuring of state agencies, the Office of Health Equity (OHE) was established within the Department of Public Health to facilitate statewide policy and program implementation aimed at addressing health inequities and disparities in Georgia.
What Is Health Equity?
Health inequities are defined as “differences in health that are unnecessary, avoidable, unfair and unjust.” Conversely, health equity is achieved when all people have “the opportunity to attain their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially determined circumstance.” Health disparities are referred to as health inequities when they are the result of the systematic and unjust distribution of these conditions.
The concept of health equity focuses attention on the distribution of resources that drive systematic disparities in health outcomes between more and less advantaged groups. Whereas the inequitable distribution of social determinants contributes to health disparities and health inequity, equitable policies promoting healthy environments and social conditions contribute to health equity.
To lead in the elimination of health disparities and promote a healthy quality of life for all Georgians.
- Be allocated with sufficient resources to promote health equity and establish themselves publicly as leaders in this area;
- Build on current strengths and relationships with other Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) programs;
- Actively engage disparate communities in addressing their own priorities and needs
- Value partnerships and collaboration as key catalysts for action; and
- Develop the necessary expertise to provide technical assistance where needed.